Don’t be fooled by these, they’re not just paintings, these works of art are actually LIVE models, sitting on a backdrop, that have been painted ON and then photographed!
“Alexa Meade is a 23 year old D.C. based artist who is developing an aesthetic that is playfully and skillfully combing paint, portraiture, photography and performance. The finalized work is one that is beautifully engaging, temporary and colorfully alive. The initial experience feels a touch kitchy with it’s aesthetic trickery but once past understanding the illusion the work is quite alluring. Make sure you check out the video that illustrates the painting process and how the personality and background of the model is integrated into the creative process. All encompassing, kicking ass, taking names.” (1)
Alexa’s artist statement:
Growing up in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to work as a press intern on Capitol Hill throughout high school and college. Later, I worked as a press staffer on the Obama Campaign. Spending my formative years immersed in the world of politicians and PR led to a fascination with the possibilities of repackaging source texts and adding superficial modifications that would profoundly alter perception. What the audience ultimately unpackaged was a personal interpretation of an already mediated re-presentation.
In my current work, I construct and then photograph ephemeral installation sets that feature an assemblage of found objects and live models, which I have covered in layers of acrylic paint. I paint the surfaces of the human subjects, the material objects, and the architecture of the installations so as to collapse the subject, foreground, and background into one continuous plane. I present my ephemeral portrait/performances as both live, interactive installations as well as permanent photographic indices of these experiences.
By using paint as a mask that mimics the surface attributes of my source materials, I repurpose the common codes of painting and create a reciprocal self-referentiality in which the reference envelops its referent. The time-based portrait/performance installation is mediated through still photography, providing a record of the performative act in which the codes for representation/painting and indexicality/photography converge.(2)
Behind the scenes footage of Alexa’s process:
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